The Politics of Central Asian and Caspian Energy

23 February 2010 - 12:00am to 25 February 2010 - 12:00am

Chatham House, London



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The conference 'The Politics of Central Asian and Caspian Energy' will discuss the political context in which decisions to develop energy resources are taken, and the extent of the possibilities for their extraction and export.

The Central Asian and Caspian energy market

The huge oil and gas reserves of Central Asia and the Caspian have long attracted the interest of investors and governments in Russia, China and the West. However, the challenges to the investor are various and complex. The answer to two key questions is still far from clear:

Who will be allowed to extract the hydrocarbons, and where will they be sent?

An uncertain investment climate in some states of the region, geopolitical jostling between the major powers, and a tension between political and business interests means the future development of the region's abundant energy resources is difficult to predict. What is certain is that the domestic and international political context will play a crucial role in the development of the region's energy sector. With both East and West seeking to secure reliable and affordable energy, the economic and political stakes in the energy game are as high as ever.

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If you are interested in becoming a media partner for this event, please contact Esther Stoffels on +44 (0)20 7957 5753 or email [email protected].

Tuesday 23 February 2010

900 AM
Session One

Setting the Scene

  • What are current and future global energy needs?
  • How do the region's energy sources fit into the world's energy markets?
  • How has the global financial crisis affected the Caspian energy picture?

Chair James Sherr
Head, Russia and Eurasia Programme
Chatham House

09.00 Opening remarks from the chair

John Roberts
Energy Security Specialist

Julian Lee
Senior Energy Analyst
Centre for Global Energy Studies

09.45 Refreshments

Keynote Session

10.05 Welcome and opening remarks by the co-chairs
Dr Robin Niblett
Chatham House

Jay Pryor
Vice President, Corporate Business Development
Chevron Corporation

Rt Hon Lord Hunt of Kings Heath OBE
Minister of State
Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK

Yagshygeldi Kakayev
Director, State Agency for Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources
Office of the President, Republic of Turkmenistan

Ambassador Richard H Jones
Deputy Executive Director
International Energy Agency

11.30 Questions and discussion moderated by Dr Robin Niblett

12.15 Lunch

Session Two

The Energy Strategies of Central Asia and the Caspian

  • How is the region developing its oil and gas exports?
  • How are countries in the region adapting to fluctuations in resource demand and pricing?
  • Will the region respond to international concerns about energy security with increased openness about reserves and investment plans?
  • What are the prospects for further diversification of foreign partners and export routes?

Chair Annette Bohr
Associate Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme
Chatham House

13.30 Remarks from the chair

William B Cline
Group Chief Executive
Gaffney, Cline & Associates

Ian R MacDonald
Vice President
Chevron Europe, Eurasia and Middle East Exploration & Production Limited

Gottfried Steiner
Head of Business Development and International Affairs
OMV Gas & Power GmbH

Dr Jennifer Coolidge
Executive Director
CMX Caspian and Gulf Consultants Limited

14.35 Moderated discussion

15.10 Refreshments

Session Three

Russia's Energy Strategy in Central Asia and the Caspian

  • Is Russia's domestic oil and gas industry in decline and to what extent does it need Central Asian/Caspian hydrocarbons in order to meet its export commitments?
  • What is the nature of Russia's current political relationship with the Caspian region? What are the longer-term ramifications?
  • Has Russia's near monopoly in the region been broken?

Chair Sir Andrew Wood
Associate Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme
Chatham House

15.40 Opening remarks from the Chair

Keynote Address
Yury K Shafranik
Chairman of the Board
Oil and Gas Producers Union of Russia

Simon Pirani
Senior Research Fellow
Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

Sergei Komlev
Head of Directorate Contract Structuring and Price Formation
Gazprom Export

17.00 Moderated discussion

17.30 End of day one and drinks reception hosted by Chatham House

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Session Four

China's Energy Strategy in Central Asia and the Caspian

  • Securing export routes from Central Asia: the Chinese approach
  • Is China's growing presence inevitable? What could be the consequences for the region and for other major energy consumers and producers?

Chair Dr Bobo Lo
Senior Research Fellow
Centre for European Reform

09.30 Remarks from the chair

Keynote Address
Professor Xia Yishan
Director, China Centre for Energy Strategy Studies
China Institute of International Studies

Dr Shamil Yenikeyeff
Research Fellow
Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

10.10 Questions and discussion

10.40 Refreshments

Session Five

US and European Energy Strategies in Central Asia and the Caspian

  • What form will Europe's southern corridor for Caspian energy take?
  • The impact of Russian policy on European energy security
  • What are the criteria used by countries such as Azerbaijan and Turkey in deciding transit strategies?
  • What are the key political determinants of future energy transit routes to Europe from Central Asia?

Chair Stefan Wagstyl
East Europe Editor
Financial Times

11.00 Remarks from the chair

Ambassador Pierre Morel
EU Special Representative for Central Asia

Alistair Buchanan CBE
Group Chief Executive
Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, UK

Ambassador André Mernier
Secretary General
Energy Charter Secretariat

Dr Sohbet Karbuz
Head, Hydrocarbons Division
Observatoire Méditerranéen de l'Energie

Riccardo Puliti
Managing Director, Energy and Natural Resources
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

12.20 Questions and discussion

13.00 - 14.00 Lunch

Session Six

Politics, Money and Long-term Investment

  • To what extent are politics and money in the energy sector intertwined?
  • How will varying international standards of transparency and accountability affect investment outcomes? How do companies reconcile compliance requirements with local business practices?
  • Great game or great gamble? To what extent can investors rely on the rule of law? Are the terms for foreign investment likely to change?
  • Investment law and banking reform: are the current policies conducive to investment?

Chair James Nixey
Programme Manager and Research Analyst, Russia and Eurasia Programme
Chatham House

14.00 Remarks from the chair

Christopher Weafer
Chief Strategist
UralSib Capital

Laurence Cockcroft
Transparency International UK

14.50 Questions and discussion

15.30 - 15.50 Refreshments

Final Panel Debate

  • How are the countries of the region managing their relations with their powerful neighbours?
  • To what extent is energy a tool of foreign policy in the region?

Chair James Sherr

15.50 Moderated Panel discussion

Edward Chow
Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program
Center for Strategic and International Studies

Michael Denison
Research Director
Control Risks

Vladimir Socor
Senior Fellow
The Jamestown Foundation

17.05 End of conference

© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2010